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Native Garden

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Corneille Bryan Native Garden


Name: Corneille Bryan Native Garden

Open to the public? Yes

County: Haywood

Address: 91 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7a (2023)

Extension Demonstration Garden? No

Approximate year the garden/landscape was established: 1990

What to look for:

When Lake Junaluska reservoir was established in 1913, the founders set aside several areas designated as parks. One such area was a small, shaded ravine of approximately one acre where a small stream flowed through, sometimes falling over a natural rock formation. The Tuscola Garden Club and the Lake Junaluska Conservation Committee had the idea to convert the area into a nature center with a focus on native plants, trees, and wildflowers. 

Mrs. Corneille Bryan, who was a member of the Tuscola Garden Club, had strong feelings for the beautification of the Garden area and had worked hard to ensure it became a reality. When she died in 1989, her family chose this project as a fitting memorial gift.

Volunteers cleared the site of debris and undergrowth and established trails, bridges, steps, fences, and benches. Mrs. Maxilla Evans, a knowledgeable botanist with a large collection of native plants and the garden’s planting chairperson, donated her collection of native plants. 

Since its inception, the Garden has grown to more than five hundred native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. The Garden contributes to the education of students enrolled in the horticulture department of Haywood Community College and the botany classes of Western Carolina University. Elementary school children occasionally visit the garden as part of their study of ecology.